Office of Conciliation - Archdiocese of Chicago

F.Y.I.R. - For Your Information and Reflection

Soaring Poverty

This Month (September) the U.S. Census Bureau Reported that:

  1. Another 2.6 million people slipped into poverty in the United States last year…the number of Americans living below the official poverty line, 46.2 million people, was the highest number in 52 years.
  2. It was the first time since the Great Depression that median household income, adjusted for inflation, had not risen over such a long period.
  3. The percentage of Americans living below the poverty line last year, 15.1 percent, was the highest level since 1993. (The poverty line in 2010 for a family of four was $22,314.)
  4. The past decade was also marked by a growing gap between the very top and very bottom of the income ladder.
  5. The Brookings Institution estimated that at the current rate, the recession will have added nearly 10 million people to the ranks of the poor by the middle of the decade.
  6. Joblessness was the main culprit pushing more Americans into poverty, economists said.
  7. Last year, about 48 million people ages 18 to 64 did not work even one week out of the year, up from 45 million in 2009.
  8. Median income fell across all working-age categories, but was sharpest drop was among the young working Americans, ages 15 to 24.
  9. The median annual income for a male full-time, year-round worker in 2010-$47,715-was virtually unchanged, in 2010 dollars, from its level in 1973, when it was $49,065.
  10. Those who do not have college degrees were particularly hard hit.